Many people are familiar with author John Green, mastermind behind the novel and major motion picture “The Fault in Our Stars,” because, well, who could forget the tragically relatable love story that left you heartbroken for weeks? After the release of his most famous novel’s film adaptation, his fame erupted and a second novel of his, “Paper Towns,” made it to the big screen.
Well, prepare yourselves, because two Greens are now in the writing world. Less than a month ago, John Green’s brother, Hank Green, released his first novel, “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing,” which he explains is a story about “a group of friends who accidentally become the most important people in the world.” The Green brothers are currently touring the country for Hank’s debut novel. Why should you go meet them? I’m glad you asked.
Uhhhhhh….holy shit. pic.twitter.com/xIUeQvzxPt
— Hank Green – 🗽🤖 (@hankgreen) October 3, 2018
The thing about the Green brothers is that although their fame has exploded in the years following the release of John’s first few novels, they remain the same nerdy, hilarious guys that started posting videos online around 12 years ago. Throughout the years, they’ve kept their close relationship and still do just about everything together.
Hank and John first started releasing content to the world in 2006 when they started posting videos online, via their YouTube channel Vlogbrothers and their now-deleted website Brotherhood 2.0. Over time, the two created more YouTube channels, including the famous Crash Course, a series of brief, humorous, educational videos spanning almost every topic in school, from philosophy, to physics, to history. Their mission? To “fight for intellectualism and to decrease the overall worldwide level of suck.”
As Crash Course’s fame grew, its community of fans became known as “Nerdfighters,” and they have come to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in support for this cause. On John’s official website, he explains, “Decreasing suck takes many forms: Nerdfighters have raised millions of dollars to fight poverty in the developing world; they also planted thousands of trees around the world in May of 2010 to celebrate Hank’s 30th birthday.”
The number of videos the Green brothers post has greatly decreased in the last few years, as most of their time and effort has been focused on writing and publishing their novels. But, no fear — not only do they still manage to upload at least two videos a week onto the Crash Course website, but they also have a podcast you can listen for called “Dear Hank and John,” or as John prefers, “Dear John and Hank.” John describes it as “a comedy podcast about death,” where they “answer questions, give questionable advice, and talk about Mars (the planet) and AFC Wimbledon (the 3rd tier English football club).”
The cool thing about the Green brothers’ vlogs and podcasts is that while their content is seemingly random, it’s not; their relationship is what gives them new ideas and what drives them create and write their masterpieces. John has credited Hank with aiding in the inspiration for and writing of his novels, as Hank has with John in the release of his first published book. If you’re ever sitting in front of your laptop, fingers on the keys, with no extra oomph to give you that spurt of inspiration, you need a Hank to your John … or a John to your Hank.
If the Green brothers’ remarkable ability to tell stories and their dedication to helping the world are not good enough reasons for you to read their novels or listen to their podcasts and videos, perhaps their relatability to the average person despite their fame will draw you in.
On one of their vlog videos, John once said, “According to my mom, the meanest thing Hank ever did to me was try to kill me with a hammer, and the meanest thing I ever did to him was spill some red cough syrup on his bedspread and hug him too hard.” Not only are the stories they share hilarious, but the more you listen to them talk, the more you pick up on the humor, intelligence and stark bluntness of them both. These characteristics are also prevalent in their writing, which is another reason it is so amusing to read.
All of John’s novels, while fictional and fantastical in their own ways, reflect the beautiful and terrible things about life, humans and our relationships with each other, with the purpose of trying to explain that sometimes things suck, and that’s just the way the world works. Both Hank and John write about the average person who ends up doing remarkable things in a way that depicts the beautiful tragedy of human nature.
People didn’t rave over “The Fault in Our Stars” because they all wanted their own real-life Augustus Waters; they raved over it because of the way it depicts the messiness of love, the inevitability of death and the inescapable means by which we get hurt, even when we are fully aware of that which will cause it and try to narrowly avoid it. There is something about the modern realism of their writing that makes it much more interesting to read about than a cliché novel about a guy or girl who far exceeds the romantic or social expectations of the 21st century.
If I’ve convinced you of why you should absolutely adore the Green brothers, you can visit John’s website or Hank’s website for access to their podcasts, blogs, vlogs, Crash Course videos and information on their new releases. Okay? Okay.